To strengthen Indias bilateral relations with Mali and Congo, Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar will be visiting the two countries next week, an official said on Saturday.Akbar's visit to Mali will be from February 28 to March 4 March and to Congo from March 5-6. a release said. During his visit to Mali, Akbar would meet President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Prime Minister Modibo Keita. He will co-chairing the first India-Mali Joint Commission meeting along with Foreign Minister of Mali Abdoulaye Diop. "The Joint Commission will include wide ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest of India and Mali. Minister will also visit Timbuktu and present a cheque of US$ 0.5 million as India's support to Mali towards restoration of its heritage in Timbuktu," said a release from the Ministry of External Affairs.In 2012, Islamic fundamentalists destroyed many of the heritage sites of Timbuktu, an ancient city famous for its historical libraries and shrines of early Islamic era.In the Congo leg of his trip, Akbar will meet President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Foreign Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso and discuss various areas of engagement between the two countries, including strengthening cooperation in the fertilizer sector, the release said.He will also interact with Indian diaspora in both countries.